Saadat Hasan Manto was a veteran and eminent Urdu author, novelist, essayist, playwright and short story writer of Indo-Pak. He was born in Ludhiana, district of Punjab British India and died on 18 January 1955 in Lahore. Manto initiated his career as a writer by translating some Russian and French authors when he was encouraged and inspired by a scholar Abdul Bari in Aligarh University. Soon after, he began writing short stories and gained popularity.
He is considered to be one of an impressive writers and critics of 20th century. He is known for his write-ups on the harsh realities and hard truths of the society that no one dared to talk about. He wrote on various aspects of the society including prostitutes and their status in the society. His work is unembellished yet stirring and based on nonfiction stories. He depicted horrendous and awful side of the society through his write-ups and one can assess the similar things happening in our society even today.
Saadat Hasan has died but Manto is alive forever in the hearts of his readers. His work is and will remain alive forever as it keeps on enchanting the readers to an unimaginable extent.
Additionally, he was a straightforward and outspoken who was not mere a writer but a mirror to the society who showed the society its real face which it may not want to see. He also pens down the miseries and miserable circumstances of the people at the time of partition. Some writers write that Manto, personally, opposed the partition of India-Pakistan. But later, he decided to migrate to Pakistan following the independence in 1948 and lived in Lahore until his demise/death.
Furthermore, he wrote almost 22 collections of short stories, five series of radio plays, three collections of essays and a novel. Resultantly, he not only confronted criticism but also faced trials for obscenity and vulgarity six times before and after independence of Pakistan due to some of his stories which include Thanda Gosht, Dhaun, Kali Shalwar. Manto’s place in Urdu literature has been controversial for he opted to write on topics that labeled him rebellious and some cases an insane but he never gave up writing on what he thought was right.
As once he says; “I consider my write-ups a reflection of the society we live in, if you cannot tolerate these stories then the society is unbearable. Who am I to remove clothes of this society which itself is naked. I don’t even try to cover it because it is none of my job rather of a dressmaker”.
Moreover, many of his short stories were filmed including his biography by both artists Pakistani (Sarmad Khoosat in 2015) and Indian (Nandita Das in 2018). His noticeable work includes Toba Tek Singh, Badsurati, Farishtey and the list goes on. Subsequently, he was posthumously honored the Nishan-e-Imtiaz in 2012 on the eve of Pakistan’s Independence Day.
Hence, those who read Manto better comprehend his write-ups and feel great pleasure in doing so. He is highly praised and held in great esteem by his readers. He died of Cirrhosis of the liver due to alcoholism and was buried in Lahore.
Saadat Hasan has died but Manto is alive forever in the hearts of his readers.